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Diversifying Income Through Livestock

Kahawatu Foundation partnered with Sucafina to contribute to livestock chains that make livestock accessible for coffee farming families in Burundi, helping to improve family income and nutrition.

Coffee farming families in Burundi mostly depend on coffee for their annual cash incomes and, as a result of small farms and aging trees, incomes are low. Livestock can help families increase their revenue stream by up to 60% within 6 months as they sell offspring and products like milk. Animals like pigs and goats can thrive on household food scraps and foraged vegetation and yield valuable products that households can sell. Keeping animals can also boost nutrition by giving families better access to milk and meat, while livestock manure can be used to fertilize coffee trees and improve yields.
In Burundi, we have supported the creation of Village Savings and Loans (VSLA) groups that work together to save money and provide fair access to financing for members. Members told us that they would like to increase livestock ownership in their communities, and we listened. Livestock chains help VSLA members access livestock and increase their household income through income diversification.
In the Kayanza, Ngozi, and Muyinga regions in Burundi, livestock ‘starter kits’ of 1 male and 10 female animals (goats, pigs, or cows) are given to a VSLA group. It costs US$50 per goat and US$70 per pig, meaning each starter kit costs US$550 per goat kit and US$770 per pig kit. As the animals continue to produce offspring, each family that receives an animal will give the first offspring to another family and more and more families are able to receive animals and benefit from keeping livestock. VSLA members can then decide how they would like to allocate the animals and their offspring.